Many Arizonans enjoy riding all-terrain vehicles for recreation. ATVs are also used on ranches and farms for work purposes. While ATVs offer fun experiences for many people, they are also dangerous. When passengers ride on ATVs without helmets, their risks of serious injuries or death greatly increase.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 530 people were killed in 2017 in ATV accidents, and an estimated 104,000 required treatment for injuries in the emergency department.
If you have suffered serious injuries in an accident involving an ATV because of the negligence of someone else, you should contact an attorney at Hutzler Law to learn about your legal options.
Common Causes of ATV Accident Injuries
ATVs are off-road vehicles that can travel as fast as 65 mph. They pose serious accident risks even for drivers who are experienced. Some of the most common causes of ATV accidents include the following:
- Impaired driving
- Failing to wear helmets
- Multiple passengers
- Inexperienced drivers
- Driving ATVs on paved roads
Determining Liability in an ATV or UTV Accident
Determining liability in an ATV or UTV accident is an important first step after it occurs. Your attorney will carefully analyze the evidence to identify all of the potentially liable parties. Some of the parties that might be liable in this type of accident include the following:
- The driver
- The property owner
- Designer, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of a defective ATV
- Designer, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of a defective ATV part
Identifying all of the parties that contributed to the accident’s cause can help you to maximize your compensation amount.
Common Types of Injuries in ATV Accidents
Some of the most common types of injuries in ATV accidents include the following:
- Arm, elbow, leg, toe, ankle, and wrist fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations
People might suffer multiple injuries in this type of accident and can be killed when they are thrown from the vehicle or crushed in a rollover accident.
In a side-by-side accident involving ATVs riding adjacent to each other, a passenger might suffer a side-by-side injury by being thrown off and run over by one of the ATVs.
Why are ATV Injuries More Serious?
ATVs and UTVs are designed to travel off-road over terrain that other types of vehicles cannot handle. While these types of off-road vehicles might handle rough terrain more easily, ATVs and UTVS do not protect drivers and passengers against a dirt bike injury.
ATVs are designed to handle terrain that most vehicles are not able to navigate.
Passengers and ATV drivers are unprotected from external factors and are vulnerable to suffering serious injuries. Similar to people riding motorcycles off-road and suffering a dirt bike injury, passengers can be thrown from ATVs and potentially be run over.
Some of the common types of ATV accidents include the following:
- Side by side accident
- Rollover accident
- Colliding with a stationary object
- Riders thrown from ATVs
- Side by side injury, including being run over
Side-by-side accidents can happen when two drivers drive ATVs next to each other. The drivers might race or engage in other risky behavior, placing themselves and their passengers at risk of serious injuries. The ATVs may collide with each other, or a passenger may be thrown from one of the ATVs and run over by either vehicle.
Side-by-side accidents can happen when two drivers drive ATVs next to each other.
Rollover accidents are also a common type of ATV accidents. This type of accident might occur when the vehicle becomes off-balanced while going over steep terrain, causing it to roll over. The riders may be crushed beneath the rolling vehicle or thrown into surrounding objects such as rocks or trees.
Collisions with stationary objects are also common. When drivers speed on their ATVs, they might crash into trees, rocks, cacti, or other objects. This type of accident can cause serious injuries to the drivers and any passengers who might be riding with them. Depending on the speed of the ATV at the time of the collision, the riders may be killed when an ATV collides with a stationary object.
Wrongful Deaths and ATV Accident Injuries
ATV accidents can be fatal. In some cases, a homeowner might invite some friends to ride on ATVs on his or her property. Losing a family member in an ATV or UTV accident while he or she was visiting a friend can be both emotionally and financially devastating. You might lose the financial support your loved one provided to your family, have unexpected medical, burial, and funeral expenses, and face other losses.
If your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent actions of someone else, you might have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. To have a wrongful death claim, your loved one’s death must have resulted because of the negligent actions of the other person. You will have to present evidence showing that the defendant’s actions caused your loved one’s accident and injuries and that you suffered actual harm as a result.
To have a wrongful death claim, your loved one’s death must have resulted because of the negligent actions of the other person.
After your loved one’s death, it is critical for you to talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney at Hutzler Law. We have years of legal experience and understand how ATV accidents happen. We can review your loved one’s case and help you to understand the legal merits of your claim and your likelihood of recovering damages for your losses.
Under ARS 12-612, the following parties can file wrongful death claims:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving child(ren)
- Surviving parent(s)
- The victim’s legal guardian
- A personal representative of the estate
Your lawyer can help you to understand whether you have a right to file a wrongful death claim and help you to meet the appropriate deadlines.
How Much Can I Get Paid from an ATV Accident Injury?
Since every accident is different, the compensation that might be available will depend on the facts and circumstances.
Damages that might be recoverable in this type of accident include the following:
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Past income losses
- Future lost wages
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Hedonic damages
In a wrongful death action, you might recover the losses you have suffered as a result of your loved one’s death. Some of the types of damages you might recover include the loss of the income your loved one might have contributed to your family over his or her expected life span, funeral costs, burial expenses, lost rights to an inheritance, loss of consortium, loss of guidance, and others.
Arizona ATV Laws that May Affect an Injury Claim
Several laws in Arizona apply to ATVs. Riders under the age of 16 are not allowed to operate full-sized ATVs. If you purchase an ATV for a young person, you should make sure that it is the right size. Experienced drivers should ride with younger people to teach them how to properly steer ATVs. It is best to not allow children to operate ATVs on their own.
In general, ATV manufacturers recommend riders to be a minimum of five feet tall and 100 pounds before they can operate these vehicles.
Operators and passengers should always wear goggles and helmets when riding on ATVs.
Before operating your vehicle, you should check to make sure that the turn signals, brakes, headlights, and horns are functioning properly.
Filing ATV Accident Claims in Arizona
If you have suffered serious injuries or have lost your loved one in an all-terrain vehicle accident, you might be entitled to pursue a claim for damages when the accident was caused by the negligence of someone else.
Riding ATVs over rough terrain can be dangerous and expose the passengers to serious risks. Because of these risks, ATV operators must be experienced and able to handle these vehicles safely.
To hold the negligent parties liable, you will need to present evidence showing that the defendant was negligent and caused your accident. Your experienced ATV collision attorney at
To hold the negligent parties liable, you will need to present evidence showing that the defendant was negligent and caused your accident.
To prove negligence, you will need to present evidence proving each of the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty to operate the ATV in a reasonably safe manner.
- The defendant breached the duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach directly or proximately caused your accident and injuries.
- You suffered actual harm as a result.
If you discover that the accident resulted from a defective ATV or ATV component, your attorney might file a product liability claim against all the parties involved in bringing the defective part or ATV to the market.
If your accident was caused by the driver’s negligence while you were visiting someone else’s home, you might be able to file a claim with the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy to recover compensation.
Contact the ATV Collision Lawyers at Hutzler Law
If you believe that your accident was caused by the negligence of the driver or another party, you should contact the experienced ATV accident lawyers at Hutzler Law.
We can analyze the facts of what happened and explain the merits of your claim. Call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at 602-345-1981 to learn about your rights.